Column: Protection Of Domestic Violence Victims

February 10, 2022

Susan Jackson Bermuda Oct 2019[Opinion column written by OBA MP Susan Jackson]

Government has got to break its silence and pick up the pace to amend protection orders for domestic violence victims.

We have children and families living with abuse and we must act with a sense of urgency and find solutions now to stop the violence. It is key that we continue to advance the conversation toward tangible solutions.

There are gaps in the Bermuda Domestic Violence [Protection Orders] Act 1997 that need to be filled and areas where the laws need to be strengthened.

When a victim is ready to report an abusive situation, Bermuda laws must be comprehensive and ready to support victims when they are most vulnerable. Community members have been calling for early intervention and simplified application for protection orders.

Community activists have also suggested a Domestic Violence Court committed to specifically address the circumstances and solutions to the often-unique cases.

Victim safety and offender responsibilities should be managed by those dedicated stakeholders who are trained to recognise and deal with the complexity of domestic abuse. Private data collection needs to be comprehensive and coordinated to identify the kinds of abuses and assist helping agencies and ensure a well-functioning system.

Domestic violence has reached this point and our hearts go out to all the victims living in silence.

As a government we must step up and make real progress in the protection of domestic violence victims. There are clear changes that can be made to greatly improve the current system. We need to act now.

- Susan Jackson


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